Mobile pay has been brought to my attention lately as consumer and as a marketer. As marketers, we’re supposed to think like a consumer so we can develop new products and services and also market these new ideas and innovations appropriately. Well, mobile pay is not quite new anymore. It has been around a little while. But I will say that as consumer, I think it’s a valuable and convenient option.
Mobile pay has already taken off in Asia. Data shows 69% of Asian consumers say that mobile pay is more convenient than other forms of payment. It is slowly becoming more acceptable in Europe and the United States. 26% of American and European consumers report that mobile is more convenient. Furthermore, 29% of American and European consumers state that they look forward to using mobile pay more often. Expect that number to grow as mobile transactions are expected to reach over $984 billion by 2014. Consumers spent $162 billion via mobile in 2010.
I was introduced to the notion of using mobile pay at a social media function in St. Louis. The establishment used TabbedOut as an option for payment. A few days later, my favorite café, Nadoz Café, a European bakery café in St. Louis, MO posted a tweet about The Level Up.
LevelUp is a mobile pay application designed for restaurants and cafes. They have over 1,400 local businesses in9 cities (Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle) with over 100,000 plus total users.
How it Works
Once a patron registers with LevelUp, creating an account and linking their credit card to the app, they download the LevelUp app on their iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. Then all they have to do is pick a tip amount and show their QR code to pay. Participating restaurants and cafes scan the QR code. A receipt is emailed to the patron once the transaction completes. Each payment builds up to up rewards for the patron. It really is that easy to use.
Consumers Love It
- Rewards are a nice bonus with LevelUp. Once a patron signs up for an account, they receive credit applied to their next purchase. They continue to build their rewards with every purchase and can even invite friends with a special promo code
- Safety is another issue. LevelUp’s QR code eliminates the need to pay with a credit card. The fewer people who have access to your credit card, the better—less chance of someone swiping your number. QR codes are unique and difficult to duplicate. Plus, you can attach a 4-digit pin to your LevelUp app for added security.
- Paying with LevelUp is fast. Patrons no longer have to wait for the credit card to process. The QR code is scanned in a matter of seconds and payment is complete.
Businesses Love It
- Credit card processing fees are reduced. LevelUp processing fee is a flat 2%. Average processing fee is 3-5%.
- Free to use if you have an iPad. Otherwise, there is a $25 monthly fee. LevelUp will send you a scanner to use to scan QR codes.
- Great for building patron loyalty. Over 60% of patrons who pay with LevelUp come back within 45 days.
- Increases sales and profits. LevelUp patrons spend on average of 37.46% more when they unlock earned credits.
- Tips increase. LevelUp patrons tip around 20.22% of the full amount of the bill.
LevelUp vs Other Mobile Pay
There are other mobile pay options out there. However, they are far more restrictive. LevelUp accepts all major credit cards. Google Wallet only accepts CitiMastercard. Paypal has an option, but it can only be used at Home Depot. You can use LevelUp at registered establishments.
As a consumer, I will tell you that I returned to Nadoz Café in less than 45 days after my initial purchase. I was already a loyal patron, but now that it’s easier and safer for me to pay, I return almost on a weekly basis. I’ve also noticed new restaurants using LevelUp that I will make sure to visit.
As a marketer, the value in saving money with decreased credit processing and quick and easy transactions is worth it in itself. Add the bonus of patrons spending more and the decreased credit processing fee (which could be zero), and see the ROI prove itself. LevelUp benefits both patrons and businesses. It makes life easier for both sides of the transaction.
By the way, consumers can use promo code COBALT and save up to $10 via LevelUp when they register.